A year after its ceremonial groundbreaking, construction on MARTA’s first new transit line in more than 20 years is heating up in noticeable ways around downtown and Summerhill.

Atlanta’s initial stab at creating a bus-rapid transit system began actual construction last fall. The five-mile BRT route—christened MARTA Rapid Summerhill—will link downtown to neighborhoods such as Summerhill and Peoplestown before ending near the BeltLine’s Southside Trail at a station called Carver.

Along the way will be connections to MARTA’s heavy rail system at Five Points, Georgia State, and Garnett Stations. The $91-million project marks MARTA’s first new transit line since the Sandy Springs MARTA station opened, back in the year 2000.

MARTA officials tell Urbanize Atlanta the BRT project is in “full swing” and remains on schedule, as sidewalks are expanded, bike infrastructure is implemented, traffic lanes are altered, and other work unfolds during Atlanta’s hot months.

Bike lanes in relation to a new Rusty Taco location at Summerhill Station. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Here’s a quick rundown of BRT construction progress provided by MARTA, as it stands today, organized by area:  


According to MARTA officials, BRT construction in the downtown loop area started in May along Mitchell Street, between Ted Turner Drive and Central Avenue​.

Pothole and utility work is ongoing​, while sidewalk and lane closures are expected to start in June, during the station installation process​.

Summerhill along Hank Aaron Drive:

Lane-shifts in the area were done to move traffic into outer lanes, allowing BRT work to continue in interior lanes.​

Street-widening, utility work, full-depth milling, and resurfacing continues along Hank Aaron Drive from the Interstate 20 east onramp south to Ormond Street, or two blocks south of Georgia State University’s Center Parc Stadium.  

Between this summer and September, MARTA’s team will focus on BRT station construction, paving, ADA ramp and sidewalk construction, and signal and Intelligent Traffic System work in both Summerhill and downtown, according to the agency.


Shallow utility work is scheduled to occur between Ormond Street and Carver station—the BRT line’s southernmost point—later this year.

MARTA forecasts that construction on MARTA Rapid Summerhill will wrap up in spring 2025, with passenger service beginning sometime later next year.

The region’s first BRT line will operate with new 60-foot electric buses, with the 14 stops featuring level boarding positioned about 1/3-mile apart from each other. Planned stations on Memorial Drive at Capitol Avenue and Trinity Avenue were previously axed to save costs, project leaders have said.

Where sidewalk-widening efforts include biking infrastructure along Hank Aaron Drive. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Each station will include real-time arrival information and off-board fare collection, allowing customers to pay before they board. About 85 percent of the corridor will have dedicated, bus-only lanes with transit-signal priority, meaning buses shouldn’t be bogged down in traffic and that travel times should be quicker, MARTA officials have said.

Once the line is built, buses are expected to arrive with frequencies between 10 minutes (daytime peak hours) and 20 minutes (late nights and weekend mornings). MARTA has estimated that 2,350 riders will use the service on a daily basis. The project is being funded by the $2.7-billion MORE MARTA half-penny sales tax for transit approved by voters in 2016 and a federal TIGER grant.

MARTA predicts traveling the full route from Five Points station to Carver will take between 12 to 15 minutes.

MARTA’s original timeline called for breaking ground on the BRT project in August 2022 and beginning service this year, but the project was dogged by skyrocketing building and labor costs (originally projected at $61.5 million), in addition to issues stemming from MARTA’s inexperience with creating new transit lines this century. 

Where current construction concludes for now near the Atlanta Olympic Cauldron tower, Fulton Street, and the GSU Convocation Center. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Beyond the Summerhill BRT line, MARTA is moving forward with BRT transportation along the Clifton Corridor near Emory University, on Campbellton Road in Southwest Atlanta, and in Clayton County. Another four-station BRT route up Ga. Highway 400 with service to Roswell and Alpharetta is also being studied. 

Find a quick tour of Summerhill BRT construction progress in the above gallery. More broadly, here's the most recent look at what's to come between South Downtown and Peoplestown: 

The 14-stop Summerhill BRT route revealed by MARTA in August. via MARTA


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